Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with patient outcomes inferior to most other lymphoma subtypes. Recent progress in describing recurrent somatic gene mutations has led to a better understanding of MCL pathogenesis. However, the functional and clinical implications of many alterations remain to be elucidated. Here, to uncover the role of recurrent UBR5 gene mutations in lymphomagenesis, we studied a cohort of 248 MCL patients by targeted sequencing and performed genome editing of MCL-derived cell lines to investigate UBR5-mutation associated phenotypes in vitro. We identified deleterious UBR5 exon 58 hotspot mutations in 8% of MCL patients, all of which were mutually exclusive with CCND1 mutations. Proteomics analysis of Granta-519 and Jeko-1 cell lines with engineered UBR5 exon 58 indel mutations showed differential expression of genes involved in cell cycle and ubiquitination, and led to the discovery of decreased phosphorylation of CCND1 in the UBR5-mutated lines. Accordingly, in vitro studies of engineered genome-edited Granta-519, Jeko-1 and Mino cells revealed accumulation of cells in the S phase of the cell cycle, increased phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (Rb), and increased lymphoma cell proliferation. Our results demonstrate that UBR5 mutations, in addition to the hallmark t(11;14) translocation drive proliferation of MCL cells, potentially rendering mutation-carrying cells more sensitive to targeted therapies.


Gascoyne:NanoString: Patents & Royalties: Named Inventor on a patent licensed to NanoString Technologies. Scott:NanoString: Patents & Royalties: Named Inventor on a patent licensed to NanoString Technologies, Research Funding; Roche: Research Funding; Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria; Janssen: Research Funding. Steidl:Roche: Consultancy; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Research Funding; Nanostring: Patents & Royalties: patent holding; Juno Therapeutics: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy; Tioma: Research Funding.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.